It’s that time of the year again when ‘Wintertime’ begins.
The Premier League will no doubt unveil it’s ‘Winter Ball’, which is never blue, even though it feels like it should be.
The clocks will turn back an hour, for most.
Brexiteers hope and pray it turns back to when Britain ruled the world, rationing was just wonderful, and concrete grew abundantly on trees.
Man Utd fans hope it turns back to the 1990’s when they weren’t getting battered at home by their biggest rivals.
Whatever your hope is for this winter, I hope it comes true for you. I just hope that I get another 100-point haul like I did in GW9. Yes, that is a humblebrag.
Defender: Ricardo Pereira, Leicester City
Following on from my GW9 tip of Chilwell, and my season-long tip of Trent Alexander-Arnold (still on to smash 200 points this season, FYI) I’m feeling confident about my defensive tipping form.
With that in mind, I’m plumping for Pereira of Leicester City for one reason, and one reason alone: Arsenal have scored 1 goal away from home in the league all season long. That’s four matches, 360 minutes plus stoppages, and one miserable goal.
Brentford have held them at bay, as have Brighton. Man City also did, but credit where it’s due, they did plunder a goal at Turf Moor.
Leicester have recently eased their defensive injury problems, and have switched to five at the back, which will release Pereira into much more threatening positions going forward. This is a man who has a 2G 8A 10CS season behind him in the not too distant past, and if he starts capturing that kind of form, now is the time to jump on.
Midfielder: Maxwel Cornet, Burnley
Regular readers will know how humble I am about my tips, but if this one pays off, I’ll be blowing my own horn, sorry, Cornet all weekend long.
To be fair to the Ivorian, he’s taken the Premier League by storm, already racking up three goals in just 210 minutes of action.
This week he takes on Brentford at Turf Moor, and Brentford have just lost their super shot-stopper Raya for a few months, which is a devastating blow for the Bees. Talk about a buzzkill.
Might even watch this game myself, all the while rocking back and forth signing ‘Just one Cornet goal!. Give it to me! Delicious attacking returns, for my team!’.
Forward: Armando Broja, Southampton *
After a smattering of substitute appearances, Broja got his chance in GW8 and he’s taken it with both hands.
A goal and two BPS in GW8.
A goal and two BPS in GW9.
This is the kind of consistency from a 1.4% owned, £5.0m striker we can all get behind.
This weekend he takes a trip to Vicarage Road, where a possibly resurgent Watford await. Have Watford turned a corner, or was their result at Goodison Park just Everton being Everton?
Time will tell.
ED: Time did tell – he’s ruled out injured now. If you are looking at a budget forward replacement – Hwang Hee-chan at Wolves taking on Everton in the Monday night fixture to give you something to cling on to till the end of the gameweek!
Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool
Yeah, he’s just ridiculous, isn’t he?
Nine games. Six double-digit hauls. Ten goals. Six assists. Sixteen bonus points. Outrageous.
(Whisper it, but if he keeps going, he’s on for a FOUR HUNDRED POINT season. Considering the record is his with 303 points, that’s mind-boggling)
I misled you last week though, and I apologise. I asked you to just close your eyes and imagine – Harry Maguire one on one against Mo Salah – to put the armband on him and just let it happen.
I was wrong.
How was I to know that Maguire was so bad he wouldn’t even get into a position to be one-on-one with the Egyptian King? Lordy.
It’s Brighton coming to Anfield this week, fresh off the back of learning that good attacking teams can take them apart, as City did last weekend.
Outsider: Teemu Pukki, Norwich City
Norwich v Leeds in GW10 is the first bone-fide relegation scrap of the season. It’s now or never for Norwich in particular, who have been battered from pillar to post in the first couple of months, but mostly by teams who you’d expect to batter them from pillar to post.
Now it’s a second season-syndrome Leeds Utd, then Brentford, Southampton, Wolves and Newcastle. Carpe Diem, Canaries.
Imagine if I’m right, and you have him in your team. You’ll be rubbing people’s noses in it for years!